A new startup is helping local merchants link online promotions to in-store traffic.
Local business promotions platform Circl helps businesses convert Facebook fans, Twitter followers and email subscribers into measurable customers, which helps business owners make better marketing decisions by showing them which promotions and channels are the most effective at driving foot traffic.
“There are many companies providing marketing tools for local businesses, but very few actually close the loop and show businesses how many customers or sales are generated,” said Soso Sazesh, co-founder of Circl. “As someone coming from the online marketing world where metrics and ROI are critical, it’s clear there is a lot of catching up to do in terms of showing local businesses the results of their online marketing efforts. That’s exactly what Circl does, and we will continue to release new features focused on this problem.”
Circl tracks where customers come from by using the mobile browser of the customers’ smartphones. Similar to a Foursquare check-in, this allows the company to access the location of the customer. Moreover, Circl offers businesses a dashboard that enables them to distribute promotions and specials to Facebook, Twitter and through email. This same dashboard displays which promotions and channels are the most effective, and can even be leveraged to discover which days had the most activity. It is also important to note that based on customer visit data, Circl provides campaign recommendations that allow businesses to launch online promotions or sales with just a click.
Over the past three months more than 1,000 businesses, ranging from local businesses to large national retailers, have already requested beta access to the Circl platform. Additionally, the platform has received interest from a variety of businesses in the U.S. and abroad, including clothing stores, restaurants, cafés, auto dealerships, electronics retailers, and other walk-in businesses.
“Because Circl is not consumer-facing, our strategy is very different from other companies in the local space. We don’t need to expand one city at a time and we are able to target our sales and marketing efforts in a more effective manner because of this. We can work with a business in San Francisco just as easily as we can work with a business in Austin or London,” said Neej Gore, co-founder of Circl.